Public Services

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 6-24-2018


The Houston Cole Library (HCL) welcomed Jacksonville State University (JSU) students, faculty, staff and the greater community to the new academic year by hosting its first-ever Tailgate event on Thursday, September 15, 2016. HCL outreach activities will never be the same. The Tailgate was unique for JSU in its involvement of the greater Jacksonville community, its coordination of Library departments, and its use of University-wide collaboration in both planning stages and attendance. The atmosphere was relaxed and fostered a comfortable environment in which attendees could get to know their Library. Gate counts increased dramatically. The Ad-hoc Tailgate Planning Committee discussed the positives and negatives of Tailgate 2016 and immediately started planning for 2017. Many changes were made to marketing, organizational strategies, and timeframe. Students were informed of Tailgate events by bookmarks, posters, and social media. October 26th, 2017, the second-annual HCL Tailgate was held with greater success. Lunch and door prizes were provided thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Library and other community partners. Marching band members played in front of the Library and Cocky, the JSU mascot, greeted attendees. Activities included librarian introductions, trivia games, and prizes. The event attracts over 200 people each year. Survey results included appreciation for tailgate activities and revealed many first-time Library visitors. Informal responses from Tailgate attendees and Library staff indicated a strong desire to repeat the Tailgate event. Discover steps to host a touchdown tailgate event for your outreach needs.

Publication/Presentation Information

Westbrooks, K., Pettway Vann, C. & Barnett-Ellis, P. (2018, June). A tale of two tailgates: Jacksonville State University Library's 2016 to 2017 tailgate transformation. Poster presented at the American Library Association 2018 Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA